The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
September 29, 2010

Fascion

Is it any coincidence that Fashion Week is held in Auckland at precisely the same time that World of Wearable Arts is held in Wellington? Its a pity really, cos then you really can’t get to see both, but then again, what is the difference?

One is a fantasy world of openably unwearable pieces of imaginative interpretations of the latest fads, and the other is… well, much the same really. Which of the two events did this one fall into?

Fantasy wearable art? No, actually. This creation, above, is by young Maori designer Ana Hou, and was featured in the Miramoda design show during Fashion Week in Auckland. It is a fantastic piece, in the true word of fantasy, with large butterfly wings and a rather large holes strategically places almost anywhere – with a large amount of exposed flesh and highly visible undies. On this particular model, admittedly stunningly gorgeous, there’s also no need to wear a bra – not something your average kiwi woman could get away with comfortably while wearing a holey body stocking. Sagging, protruding breasts, nipples poking out through the holey fabric, or, with the off the shoulder design, a good chance of an entire bosum – along with the wing tips poking passersby in the face, there’s not much chance really that this will ever see an outing on the street.

Loops, holey design – the covered face, as pleasant as any gimp suit or burqha, it is as totally impractical as any other. Yes, it is by two young first time Indians, and technologically is as clever as all get out, being without any stitches. Impractical as the one above, at least this was openly in a competition for Art, not for a Fashion show.

What about the “serious” design from a well-known designer such as those that design for the High St. Is this fashion, or is this fascist? Most of the fashion world seems to be ruled by gay men, who often seem not to care a fig about the practicalities or the women they are designing for. Is it the tendency to treat women as dolls, playing dressup? Is misogyny normal for fashion designers? Woman designers are often just as bad, or inconsiderate:

Wearing a leather strap / bandolier does not really ever count as a shirt, in anyone’s book really, and getting a male model to wear lacey underwear underneath it doesn’t make it any better. But it’s even worse for the female model who had to put up with this nonsense:

Hmmm. Lace, leather and nipples out – that’s just embarrassing. And Kate Sylvester is meant to be one of our better designers. What about a lesser known designer, Zheng?

Yes, see through skirts and shirts and bra and knickers showing. Something that nearly every woman I know would run a million miles from. Really, what is the point of unveiling this crap? In an urban sense, it is as bad as the miles of badly designed housing in suburbia – ugly buildings, stick on columns, housing oriented the wrong way for the sun, and all the plethora of mistakes that we rant against in an architectural sense. And yet it gets the headlines.
I despair.

m-d
29 - 09 - 10

I think you have it the wrong way around – this stuff is more akin to the latest avante garde – UN Studio, Koolhaus, Hadid, et al – with which the architectural profession try to shove down the throats of the ordinary ‘man’ who really want none of it…

The suburban dross is your Glassons and Hallensteins – cheap, and catering to popular tastes, but snubbed by the ‘cultural elite’…

SD
29 - 09 - 10

Try this – type ‘zaha hadid shoes’ into a search engine…

Maximus
29 - 09 - 10

Well, that thought certainly occurred to me as I was writing it. I agree about the Glassons / Hallensteins comment – but would argue that Hadid is like Galliano or Gaultier – and that we have no equivalent to either Hadid or Galliano in this country.

This stuff is more like the bizarre, bad designs popping up in Shanghai and Dubai, nipples popping out all over the place.

Maximus
29 - 09 - 10

But that shoe from Zaha is a whole lot more practical than “vivienne westwood shoes”

m-d
29 - 09 - 10

SD – Arch Centre have already been there:
http://architecture.org.nz/2009/05/17/fetish-or-fashion-architecture-shoes/

SD
29 - 09 - 10

With no architectural equivalent of the high-end glamour in NZ, I guess many people will be breathing a sigh of relief that those nipples aren’t soon going to be popping out all over Christchurch…

Robyn
29 - 09 - 10

“Is it any coincidence that Fashion Week is held in Auckland at precisely the same time that World of Wearable Arts is held in Wellington?”

Say what?

NZ Fashion Week: 21 – 25 September
WOW: 23 September to 3 October

That’s a three-day overlap, and it’s more than possible to see NZFW and then fly to Wellington for a WOW show.

Don’t freak out about the sort of fashion you see at Fashion Week. That’s fashion in a highly concentrated form. You won’t see women on the high street wearing a sheer bra, but in 18 months’ time you’ll see something like a top with sheer sleeves.

Maximus
29 - 09 - 10

Robyn, nice to have you back here – we’ve been missing you. Well, I have. And thanks for correcting me.

I’m not really freaking out – just kind of perturbed and mildly hacked off that such crap design gets taken so seriously. I’d be embarrassed (or, in the case of Kate Sylvester, em-bare-assed) if any design of mine that was bad, got that kind of publicity. What’s wrong with just designing something properly, and well, in the first place? The Fashion world is a sick, screwed up place, and this is the equivalent of leaky buildings.

starkive
29 - 09 - 10

So what’s the fashionista equivalent of this then:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/local/4169343/Council-must-pay-for-leak-repairs

Does Vivienne Westwood pay for all her shoes to be re-soled?

SD
29 - 09 - 10

Ahhh, but is the ‘design’ really crap? I think, as in all things design, you have to separate the design from the execution.

Take the see-through dress abour as an example – the dress may appear on the high street next year in same form but different materials. Would you object if it were made from cotton fabric? I suspect not! I also think that high fashion is generally impractical for walking down the street in, but can also see that it’s the spawning ground for the ideas that flow downstream.

I’ve seen this with architecture too – the ‘catwalk’ design is splendid, but some cost-cutting developer/builder puts their spin on it and the ‘off the rack’ version is a pile of ugly leaky cr@p.

Maximus
29 - 09 - 10

starkive – if shoes are like buildings, then your analogy is very apt. I’m sure that if Vivienne designs a dud shoe, and Naomi falls off it and sends it back asap, she’ll get her money back.
http://blogs.sundaymercury.net/diva-diaries/2009/05/fashion-show-falls-flat.html

But not if she has been wearing it for 10 years.

davidp
29 - 09 - 10

The costume in the top photo doesn’t look too practical for Wellington. I can imagine hundreds of sets of destroyed wings joining hundreds of destroyed umbrellas in our rubbish bins after a windy day.

But I’m all in favour of lace, leather, and nipples out.

Maximus
29 - 09 - 10

Is that a painting of you in Marion St then?

“I’m all in favour of lace, leather, and nipples out.” Maybe just a weeee bit chilly on a day like today…

Arthur
29 - 09 - 10

The top photo says it all really. All the girls look really glum at the prospect of them ever being caught wearing a body stocking and with their VPL showing. All except for the guy in the sunnies with a huge grin on his face. He’s saying:

“Choice! I can see her bum! Wait till she turns around and I’ll catch another eyeful on the way back!”

minimus
29 - 09 - 10

He’s saying: “Choice! I can see her bum! Wait till she turns around and I’ll catch another eyeful on the way back!”

puhleeze…she’s saying “Fabulous!”

60 MPa
29 - 09 - 10

Max, my fine fish, do try to relax. Fashion is a matter of taste and creates some ugly clothes. Buildings are also a matter of taste and while this catwalk turn is ephemeral, we’ll be looking at the Renaissance apartments on top of the old BNZ/Burger King in Manners Mall for some time to come.

Art thoust the arbiter of beauty?

Would you prefer this uniquely Chinese solution?
http://www.zerohedge.com/article/china-proudly-demolishing-buildings-completed-pursuit-great-housing-bubble-perpetual-engine

Maximus
1 - 10 - 10

60, I take my (metaphorical) hat off to you – that is an absolute gem. Fascinating all round. And I ask myself – why don’t we do this to some of our shoddier buildings?

All in the name of progress, you understand…. We too can take the great step forward. Think Big! (Oh no, been there, done that….)

60 MPa
1 - 10 - 10

Completely off topic – a great building design headline-
“Las Vegas hotel guests left with severe burns from ‘death ray’ caused by building’s design”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1315978/Las-Vegas-hotel-death-ray-leaves-guests-severe-burns.html

Dangerous curves indeed